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Definition of Terms
 

Oral Hygiene

Oral hygiene is the practice of keeping the mouth and teeth clean in order to prevent dental problems and bad breath. back

 

Dental Cleaning

Teeth cleaning is the removal of dental plaque from teeth, in order to prevent cavities (dental caries), gingivitis, and periodontitis. It is part of a complete program of oral hygiene. back

 

Sealants

Dental sealants act as a barrier, protecting the teeth against decay-causing bacteria. The sealants are usually applied to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth (premolars and molars) where decay occurs most often. back

 

Bonding

Dental bonding is a procedure in which a tooth-colored resin material (a durable plastic material) is applied and hardened with a special light, which ultimately "bonds" the material to the tooth to restore or improve person's smile. back

 

Fillings

Sometimes cavities happen. A filling can help restore a tooth damaged by decay back to its normal function and shape. If you have a tooth that requires a filling, we will first remove the decayed tooth material, clean the affected area, and then fill the cleaned out cavity with a filling material. A filling also helps prevent further decay by closing off any cracks or spaces where bacteria can enter.
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Crowns

Crown refers to the restoration of teeth using materials that are fabricated by indirect methods which are cemented into place. A crown is used to cap or completely cover a tooth. back

 

Bridges

A bridge, also known as a fixed partial denture, is a dental restoration used to replace a missing tooth by joining permanently to adjacent teeth or dental implants.

There are different types of bridges, depending on how they are fabricated and the way they anchor to the adjacent teeth. Conventionally, bridges are made using the indirect method of restoration however, bridges can be fabricated directly in the mouth using such materials as composite resin. back

 

Root Canal

Root canal treatment (also referred to as root canal therapy or endodontic therapy) is made necessary when a cavity is allowed through to reach all the way to the pulp (regular cleanings and checkups prevent and detect problems early). Sometimes deep restorations or trauma to a tooth may cause the nerve to be damaged to the point it needs root canal therapy. Once this occurs the pulp becomes infected and can even extend through the root tip and begin to eat away at the surrounding bone. back

 

Dentures

Dentures are prosthetic devices constructed to replace missing teeth, and which are supported by surrounding soft and hard tissues of the oral cavity. Conventional dentures are removable, however there are many different denture designs, some which rely on bonding or clipping onto teeth or dental implants. There are two main categories of dentures, depending on whether they are used to replace missing teeth on the mandibular arch or the maxillary arch. back

 

Veneers

A veneer is a thin layer of restorative material placed over a tooth surface, either to improve the aesthetics of a tooth, or to protect a damaged tooth surface. There are two main types of material used to fabricate a veneer, composite and porcelain. A composite veneer may be directly placed (built-up in the mouth), or indirectly fabricated by a dental technician in a dental laboratory, and later bonded to the tooth, typically using a resin cement such as Panavia. In contrast, a porcelain veneer may only be indirectly fabricated. back

 

Extractions

Good oral hygiene should always be practiced since the loss of a single tooth can have major impact upon your oral health and appearance. Although we will use every measure to prevent tooth loss, sometimes there are still necessary occasions when a tooth may need to be extracted. For example, a tooth may need to be extracted if the following occurs:

  • Severe decay
  • Advanced periodontal disease
  • Infection or abscess
  • Orthodontic correction
  • Malpositioned teeth
  • Fractured teeth or roots
  • Impacted teeth

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Whitening including Zoom!

Tooth whitening is a popular procedure to make teeth whiter and brighter, and therefore more attractive. Bleaching can be used to whiten stained and discolored teeth, or simply to enhance a dull smile. Either way, tooth whitening is a safe and relatively painless procedure ideal for most patients. back

 

Implants

Dental implant is an artificial tooth replacement procedure that helps individuals to replace teeth that have been lost or removed due to various circumstances. The implant procedure typically starts with insertion of a titanium pin, which has a “roughed up” surface, into the jawbone; titanium is used because of its unique ability to be fused to bone, allowing for a solid setting for the replacement crown. back

 

TMJ Treamtment

TMJ stands for temporal-mandibular joint. Temporal, as in temple area of skull; mandibular as in mandible, or lower jaw; joint as in where the head and jaw meet. Problems in this joint may be caused by a misalignment of the teeth, trauma, or excess muscle tension. Aside from the two bones that meet there, cartilage buffers them and five muscles are involved in the area. If something goes wrong, a good deal of trouble can result. back

 

Night Guards

Custom designed mouthguards and nightguards are made of flexible plastic and molded to fit the shape of your teeth. Mouthguards are recommended to protect the jaw and teeth during physical activity and sports such as boxing, football, basketball, or other activities where your mouth may get hit. In addition, these guards protect the soft tissues of your tongue, lips and cheek lining. Nightguards are recommended for patients who clench or grind their teeth at night as a way to protect their teeth and bite. back

 

invisalign

The Invisalign treatment consists of a series of clear, snap-on, custom fit, removable mouth trays that apply a controlled amount of force to your teeth, forcing them to shift. The system provides the same beautiful results as traditional braces, but since the trays are made of clear plastic, they are virtually invisible. In addition, because Invisalign trays are removable, they can be taken out while eating, drinking, brushing and flossing.

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Gum Treatment

Gum treatment is the treatment of active gum and jaw bone disease. Gum disease treatment can slow or stop the progression of gum disease. Since there are different stages of gum disease (from gingivitis to advanced periodontitis), there are different levels of treatment. In some cases, the patient may be referred to a specialist.

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Orthodontics

Orthodontics is the art of using appliances to straighten and align teeth. Most commonly it involves the use of braces to move teeth into their proper positing. In this method, brackets are bonded to the teeth and arch wires are threaded through the brackets. The arch wires act as a track and guide each tooth to its proper position. There are several types of orthodontic braces available to consumers, including the more traditional metal braces, ceramic “tooth colored” braces, as well as clear plastic braces.

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x-rays and Digital X-Rays

In our office we use digital radiography which allows us to take x-rays using up to 90% less radiation than conventional film x-rays. Using this technology, we are able to take an x-ray of your mouth by using a small sensor which records the image of your teeth and sends it to a computer. The result is a highly detailed image of your mouth that can easily be enhanced to better diagnose dental concerns and determine the very best treatment for each case. back

 

Intraoral Camera

We use small cameras about the size of a pen, called intraoral cameras, to help clearly see the condition of your teeth and gums.

With this advanced technology we can zoom in on small diseased areas, cracks, chips and worn metal fillings with extreme precision. The full-color images taken with the intraoral camera are sent to a computer screen so we can clearly see and diagnose dental problems much earlier than with traditional dental technology. Because images are displayed on our screens, patients will also be able to see areas being worked on and are able to gain a better understanding of dental procedures being performed. back

 

Aqua Abrasion

Aqua abrasion is a new cutting and polishing system that works in the same fashion as air abrasion. In addition to removing decay and preparing restorations, it can be used to effectively clean and polish the teeth through a fine stream of water that is sprayed onto the tooth surface. The aquabrasion system can replace the drill in many dental procedures and it quickly removes decay while conserving healthy tooth structure. Its gentle nature can eliminate the need for local anesthesia in many procedures.

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Air Abrasion

Air abrasion is a gentle, drill-less approach to remove decay from the teeth. An air abrasion unit is a small instrument that blasts a fine stream of air and particles onto the teeth to spray away decay. The small particles are made of silica, aluminum oxide or baking soda and aid in cleaning the tooth surface. Air abrasion allows for decay to quickly be removed while conserving healthy tooth structure. The particles and decay are then suctioned out of the mouth. 

Air abrasion is gentle because it generates no heat, sound, pressure or vibration. In addition, it reduces the need for anesthesia, making it an ideal choice for children and those who experience dental anxiety.

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